Week in Review, Nov. 7-11: WWII Museum, Bollinger and More

Expressions Of America Cg 6470
The new 'Expressions of America' attraction debuted Nov. 10 at the National World War II Museum.

NEW ORLEANS — The national midterm elections — and the ongoing tallying of votes in several key races — are the big news this week, but here are the top New Orleans business stories:

Bollinger to Acquire Mississippi Shipyards

Bollinger Shipyards, a privately-owned and operated shipbuilder, announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire VT Halter Marine Inc. and ST Engineering Halter Marine Offshore from parent company ST Engineering North America. The Pascagoula, Miss.-based companies specialize in the design, engineering, construction and repair of complex vessels for government and commercial customers. Bollinger said the transaction expands its new construction and repair capacity and capabilities for its defense and commercial customers. “For over 75 years, my family has been dedicated to providing our government and commercial customers with the highest levels of quality, support and service in the U.S. shipbuilding industry,” said Ben Bordelon, Bollinger president and CEO, in a press release. “The addition of VT Halter Marine and STEHMO is strategic as it further strengthens our position in the industry and U.S. defense industrial base by allowing Bollinger to expand our footprint, capabilities and suite of innovative solutions that we can provide to our customers.”

Covington-Based Company Buys Residential Building in Downtown N.O.

Servio Capital, a Covington-based real estate investment company, announced the $40 million acquisition of the California Building at 1111 Tulane Avenue. The seller was Metairie businessman Craig Boes. The building features 167 units ranging from 479-square-foot studios to spaces that top 3,000 square feet. Prices range from $237,000 to $1.8 million. The purchase took place on Oct. 26. “We’re incredibly excited about this project,” says Servio CEO Ryan Enk. “Not only will it serve New Orleans lovers who want a place to stay while visiting with the opportunity for an income-producing condo, but it will also serve this corridor of health and business professionals with the opportunity to own a condo so close to their workplace.”

Stennis Space Center, Rocket Lab Cut Ribbon on New Tenant Agreement

Executives from NASA’s Stennis Space Center and Rocket Lab USA gathered on Nov. 4 to celebrate a new agreement for the aerospace company to locate its engine test complex at the rocket propulsion site near Bay St. Louis, Mississippi. NASA, Rocket Lab and key elected officials gathered in the Stennis Test Complex for an official ribbon-cutting ceremony to mark launch of the new 10-year agreement. Rocket Lab expects to make a substantial capital investment in the project in upcoming years and also create dozens of jobs for the surrounding area. “We are pleased that Rocket Lab selected Stennis Space Center for development of its new test complex,” Stennis Space Center Director Rick Gilbrech said. “With finalization of this agreement, we look forward to working with Rocket Lab as it develops and moves forward in achieving its space goals. This represents an exciting opportunity not only for Stennis but also for the Gulf Coast region and the entire state of Mississippi.”

Gulf Coast Housing Partnership Breaks Ground on Mississippi Project

New Orleans-based real estate developer Gulf Coast Housing Partnership joined partners at a Nov. 4 groundbreaking ceremony for the Pearl, a $28 million affordable housing and healthcare community located on the site of a former Holiday Inn and Jackson Southwest Hotel on Highway 80 in Jackson. The project follows the model of an $80 million new-construction affordable housing and healthcare development currently under construction on Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard in Central City.  Being built by Impetus Construction on the site of a former Brown’s Dairy processing plant parking lot, the New Orleans project is dubbed “H3C,” which the developers say is a reference to their belief in “culture, commerce and community.” The original Holiday Inn structure located on the 14-acre site in Jackson was constructed in the early 1960s and will now be substantially renovated into 72,000 square feet of affordable housing with an onsite healthcare clinic.

Addis NOLA Restaurant to Unveil New Location

On Nov. 10, Ethiopian restaurant Addis NOLA will officially open for business at 2514 Bayou Road, a bustling hub for Black-owned businesses. The restaurant will start with dinner service only. “We’re excited to open in our new space and take Addis NOLA to the next level,” said Prince Lobo, who opened Addis NOLA with his mother Dr. Biruk Alemayehu and father Chef Jaime Lobo. “Opening on Bayou Road, the Black Wall Street of New Orleans, allows us to embrace our culturally rich community and shine a spotlight on one of the best-kept secrets in American History.” Addis NOLA first opened on Broad Street in 2019 to offer an authentic communal Ethiopian dining experience. Since then, the family-owned restaurant has gained in popularity.

Entergy: New Iris Solar Facility Online

Entergy New Orleans began receiving power from the 50-megawatt Iris Solar facility in Washington Parish under an agreement that commenced on Nov. 1.  “Entergy New Orleans plays a critical role in delivering clean-energy solutions that are essential in lowering greenhouse gas emissions,” said Deanna Rodriguez, Entergy New Orleans president and CEO. “The Iris solar facility is the latest addition of utility-scale solar to our growing renewable and clean energy resource portfolio delivering affordable and clean energy to our customers.” The facility was developed, engineered and constructed by D.E. Shaw Renewable Investments on 492 acres in Washington Parish and includes approximately 187,000 solar panels. Entergy New Orleans has entered into a 20-year power purchase agreement with the resource.

Organizers Unveil Plans for New Orleans Holiday Parade

At a Nov. 10 news conference at Mardi Gras World, organizers unveiled plans for the inaugural Children’s Hospital New Orleans Holiday Parade, scheduled for Dec. 3 in downtown New Orleans. Designed and built by Kern Studios, the parade will include more than 20 custom holiday-themed floats fortified with animatronic props, intelligent lighting systems, special effects and audio systems. The parade will also feature giant helium balloons, marching groups, bands and costumed characters. The idea for the event was born several years ago when Barry Kern, president and CEO of Kern Studios, first met John R. Nickens IV, president and CEO of Children’s Hospital New Orleans. During a wide-ranging conversation, Kern talked about his work building floats for a hospital-affiliated holiday parade in Nashville. Nickens was intrigued by the idea.

Outdoor Sound and Light Show Debuts at WWII Museum

On Nov. 10, The National WWII Museum unveiled its newest attraction, Expressions of America, a nighttime sound and light show “celebrating the power of individual Americans to impact the world around them during a time of monumental conflict.” Presented by Bob & Dolores Hope Foundation, Expressions of America combines archival footage and personal reflections with cutting-edge technology and special effects. “The show places viewers in the center of the war’s most epic and personal moments, immersing them in the experiences of the men and women who served our country in every way imaginable during World War II,” said a museum spokesperson.

New Orleans-Based Biotech Firm Announces Merger

Henley Ion, a New Orleans-based biotech company focused on respiratory protection and medical devices, announced that it has merged with HGMT, a Colorado biotech startup founded by Dr. Julian Henley and Dr. Sarvjit Gill. HGMT is a developer of transdermal solutions invented by Henley with numerous patents in transdermal and novel electro-kinetic solutions to delivery of pharmacological agents and related molecules directly into tissues. The union gives Henley Ion more than 30 issued and pending patents in its IP portfolio in the airway protection, air safety and transdermal and tissue drug delivery categories.

Categories: A Week In Review, Today’s Business News